John W. Fretwell, justice of the peace at Parkfield, was born October 8, 1852, and is a son of John W. and Katherine (Ford) Fretwell, the former a native and the latter of Kentucky. The subject of this sketch came to California in 1872 and for about three years lived in the Sacramento valley and Solano county. In 1875 he came to Parkfield and is now the oldest resident in the valley in point of years, who arrived after he had reached the age of twenty-one years. He homesteaded one hundred sixty acres and preempted another one hundred sixty. By buying, selling and trading land he now owns one hundred sixty acres, of which forty acres are under irrigation and subject to cultivation.
Although Mr. Fretwell received only a common school education, he has by -self culture kept in touch with the general progress of the times and is considered a well informed man. That he is public spirited may be seen in the fact that he has frequently been called upon to assume the duties and obligations of important public positions. For twelve years he was roadmaster ; has been a member and clerk of the school board for more than twenty years; was elected in 1922 for the fourth consecutive term as justice of the peace, each term being four years ; and for the last twenty years he has held a commission as notary public. In all these positions he has acquitted himself with credit and in a manner that has won the confidence of the public.
About two years after coming to Parkfield, Mr. Fretwell married Miss Louisa Walters, who was born in California and grew to womanhood in Monterey county. They have six children, namely: Roy, who is now a resident of Santa Cruz; Ida, the wife of L. E. Golden, of Porterville; Bert, who lives in Parkfield ; Nancy, now Mrs. Benjamin Carr, of Parkfield; Claude E., located at Fresno, and Lester, who is in Fresno county. During the World war Claude served in the Naval Reserve. All the children were properly reared and are useful members of the community in which they reside.
Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California’s history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925.